Freshers' Week Stories

Starting with a bang!

St Thomas and St Maurice is a small parish church on the doorstep of York St John University. Last week they had over 40 students show up to their student hangover breakfast, causing them to run to the shop for extra supplies! After years of having just a handful of students Al, the vicar, is eager to make the church a place where students are welcomed, discipled and come to know Jesus.

The 40+ students (mostly not Christians) responded to posters and leafletting around campus as church members hit the streets in chefs hats and laminated sandwich-board-type signs.They enjoyed a big fry up with members of the congregation in the church hall right next to campus. Their congregation’s demographic has meant that St Thomas’ has never really had more than a handful of students but they had over 15 new students join them last Sunday!

One student was heard saying ‘I keep bumping into Christians all week and going to Christian stuff, I don’t know why!’ 

Please pray for Al, Sam and Jack as they continue to welcome students into their church family. Pray that they would continue to meet lots of students who don’t know Jesus in the coming weeks and see them come to know him as the year goes on!



Having taken a long-shot James was pretty shocked to see it pay off and find the church running the freshers’ welcome events for a new halls of residence in Birmingham!

After contacting some of the private halls in the city, James, the student worker at Birmingham Network Vineyard, hadn’t expected to hear back. However, when the overwhelmingly positive responses poured in he found his team organising a week’s worth of welcome events for hundreds of freshers moving to the city.  

One highlight was an outdoor cinema where students could hang out, meet each other and create a great context for students from the church to have amazing conversations with those settling into this new, crazy time of life.  


Bar crawl

Leicester students got stuck in on bar crawl nights, hitting one from each Leicester uni with flip flops, water, tissues and prayers!  

Over 500 students were blessed when students from Holy Trinity Church hit the streets to bless those trawling town on two notorious freshers' nights. Meeting physical needs with water bottles and flip flops, emotional ones as they wiped away the tears of the overwhelmed newbies and spiritual ones as they prayed for them; the students met Medics and DMU undergrads on the streets of their city. One girl who had had a painful shoulder for four years had all the pain leave her as the students prayed!

A weekend away together a few weeks beforehand had given HT students a chance to catch up, pray and prepare together to impact their city for Jesus. Please pray for them as they follow up on conversations and look to bless these universities throughout the coming year. 

There are SO MANY MORE stories - like the student who brought his whole flat to church at the end of freshers' week, the 300+ hot dogs handed out by 5 churches and a Chaplaincy working together in Liverpool, students praying and prophesying over freshers on the streets of Sheffield…on and on they go, stories of hope, engagement, sharing the gospel; stories of life. 


Pippa Elmes

Ministry Training Leader

Pippa supports those in church based student ministry to do their job really well. She loves challenging churches to work with students and equipping them to pioneer new mission opportunities to reach students.                     

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